Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (French)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap 90 Location Durham


  • French Language 2 (FREN2051) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: French Language 4 (FREN3041) or French Language 4 following Year Abroad (FREN3351). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Students may take up to a total of three Translation/Interpreting modules in MLAC, but no more than two translation modules, selected from Translation Theory (MELA3111), Spanish Translation (SPAN3131), Italian Translation (ITAL3121), French Translation (FREN3051), German Interpreting (GERM3041), French Interpreting (FREN3331) and Russian for Professional Communication (RUSS3381). Students may NOT take both French Interpreting (FREN3331) and German Interpreting (GERM3041).


  • The module seeks to develop students' skills in written translation from French to English and from English to French and to instil an awareness of the theoretical issues involved.


  • There will be two major components to the module: The first component will be a practical language class, meeting for one hour weekly throughout the year, to undertake translation from and into French, with regular formative assignments, and assessed by a two-hour written examination.
  • The second component will be a lecture/seminar hour, assessed by an essay.
  • The component will begin with four lectures on the history, principles and nature of translation, to be followed by seminars in which students will prepare for the assessed essay.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students should have developed their translation skills (from French into English and from English into French) and their knowledge and understanding of translation issues and the terms and concepts used in analysing them.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To enable students to draw on the appropriate theoretical terms and concepts in the analysis of an existing translation; to locate and make appropriate use of reference material from a variety of sources.
Key Skills:
  • Extended development of general written communication skills.
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with a high degree of fluency.
  • An extended ability to gather, process and evaluate critically information and evidence from a variety of paper, audiovisual and electronic sources.
  • An extended ability to read complex and multivalent text with intellectual nuance, and a sensitivity to context and genre.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • French-English and English-French translation is taught in weekly practical translation classes
  • Translation commentary is taught through a series of four lectures and four seminars

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 1 hour 6
Seminars 4 1 hour 4
Practical Language Class 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
Student preparation and reading time 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Commentary 1 Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Commentary 1 1,200 words 100% No
Component: Summative Commentary 2 Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Commentary 2 1,800 words 100% No
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Regular translation exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University